Building a Bridge with Ethiopia: An Introduction to People to People
People to People (P2P) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care and reducing the spread of diseases in Ethiopia and amongst Ethiopian diaspora communities globally. P2P is a diaspora-driven organization, comprised of physicians, health specialists, other professionals, and non-diaspora “Friends of Ethiopia”. Founded in 1999, P2P is an international organization, with headquarters in the US and an office in Ethiopia that serves as a focal point for all global chapters of the organization, including those in Canada, Sweden, Finland, the UK, and more. Our mission is to build a bridge linking the diaspora with Ethiopian institutions for effective Human Resource Development, Health Care, and Education. The organization serves as an umbrella for other diaspora-based organizations as well. People to People is by design, an organization inspired by compassion, built with love, and sustained with kindness. Our core belief is to “give back” in order to save and improve lives in our homeland.
Empowering Youth & Communities Affected by HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has deeply affected Ethiopia. Adult prevalence of HIV in Ethiopia stands at about 2%. HIV/AIDS has led to a seven-year decrease in life expectancy and a greatly reduced workforce. As with many crises, youth are left disproportionately affected. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.2 million children total in Ethiopia have been orphaned by AIDS. Significant numbers of children orphaned by AIDS have been left to raise families in what are known as “child-headed households”. These children are forced to nurture their younger siblings including food, clothing and shelter.
Empowering Deaf Youth in Ethiopia: Unleashing the Untapped Potential
The deaf community in Ethiopia deserves to live in the shadows no more, which is why we at People to People are striving to work side-by-side with local change-makers at the forefront of deaf education, empowerment, and service delivery in the country in helping to reach some of society’s most silenced members.
Strengthening Ethiopia’s Healthcare Systems: The Diaspora & Telehealth
Since its inception, People to People has strived to build a bridge between the diaspora and institutions in Ethiopia. Our vision has been to harness the immense human capital of the global Ethiopian diaspora to address the severe shortage of physicians, health professionals, and the medical & health infrastructure and systems. P2P continues to facilitate and support visiting diaspora physicians and professionals who give their time in-country to give lectures, do rounds, conduct trainings, or otherwise support their peers. Through partnering of hospitals and universities in Ethiopia with their counterparts in North America, Europe, and across the globe, there is even greater potential to fill in the gaps and enhance Ethiopia’s overall healthcare system.
Orphan Vocational Program
(2005-2012) With support from War Child Canada, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Stephen Lewis Foundation, P2P also established a vocational training program for orphans in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, especially those who are serving as head of their household, and have taken on the responsibility of caring for their siblings The programs include hair-dressing, nursing, cooking, driving, building and construction, and electrical and computer training. So far, a total of 450 orphans (both young men and women) from 90 child-headed households, have been trained.
Promotion of Reproductive Health
(2007-2010) With the support of a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, in 2007, P2P established a youth center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The center was equipped with internet and a research library that provided relevant information on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and family planning services with the aim to slow down the rate of population growth and HIV incidence among youths between the ages of 15 and 30. (2005) Through a partnership with The Pfizer Foundation, P2P supplied the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia with the drug Fluconazol (also known as Diflucan) to be used in the treatment of AIDS patients with systemic fungal infections. (2002) P2P was awarded a grant from The Pfizer Foundation that was used to educate high school students in three regions of Ethiopia (Oromia, Amhara, and Tigray) about HIV prevention and transmission through behavioral changes. A total of 170 students, school administrators and health care workers have been educated on HIV/AIDS prevention.